Bears Ears National Monument Management Planning

During the summer of 2022, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and USDA Forest Service (USFS) began the long-awaited planning process for Bears Ears National Monument. Guiding management for the next 20 years or more, this planning process is a top priority for Bears Ears Partnership (BEP). Our most important goal is to support Tribal co-management and collaborative planning as directed in the 2021 Bears Ears National Monument Proclamation. 

One major step in this collaborative planning process was the release of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition’s Land Management Plan (LMP), a synthesis of Tribal perspectives on how the Monument should be managed for generations to come. Developed by Indigenous leaders from each of the Coalition Tribes, the LMP prioritizes Traditional Indigenous Knowledge and recognizes the landscape as a holistic and interconnected system. 

The release of the Coalition’s LMP arrived on the heels of the historic cooperative agreement made between Tribes and federal agencies, ensuring that Coalition Tribes will have leadership in the day-to-day management of the Monument and that Traditional Indigenous Knowledge will guide joint decision-making for the Monument. This agreement also re-established the Bears Ears Commision, a panel with representatives from each of the Coalition Tribes, tasked with guiding decisions made by federal agencies, pertaining to the Monument. 

Also during the summer of 2022, the BLM and USFS began a scoping process, which BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan explained, “provides an opportunity to learn from our past planning efforts and ensure the 1.36 million-acres of public lands in the Monument receive the proper protections. The new Presidential Proclamation provides a framework for managing the Monument, but the public can help us determine the best way to implement it. Input at this stage will help inform the issues considered during the planning process and the decisions made in the final management plan.” 

This scoping process included two opportunities for public participation: during a 60-day period, community members were encouraged to submit written comments (see BEP’s submitted comments HERE), as well as attend Monument Advisory Committee (MAC) meetings where there was also opportunity for public comment. 

The MAC was established by presidential proclamation to provide consensus-based input in the process of determining a range of objectives for Monument management. There are 10 to 15 members of the MAC - all appointed by the Secretary of the Interior - who represent diverse interests from local communities including tribal representatives, cultural resources, paleontology, state and local government, livestock permittees and private landowners, local businesses, state and local government, recreation, conservation and hunting, and the public at large

Both the MAC and public comment period are opportunities for stakeholders to bring their interests to the table in the Monument’s planning process, contributing to the decisions made by Tribes and federal agencies. 

As the planning process continues, our priority will continue to be supporting Tribal leadership at each step, and ensuring our community is informed about ways to engage and take action. We will keep this page updated with opportunities to participate, so make sure to check back regularly. With questions in the meantime, please contact Executive Director, Joe Neuhof at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (720) 933-6814.